Carlito's Cocina

Karlo’s unique menu is heavily influenced by the flavors of his first two homes – tropical, Caribbean Puerto Rico and the bold heat of southern cooking. In Carlito’s Cocina, he melds the flavors and experiences of the south and Puerto Rico, as well as his many journeys, into his new business. From a variety of Mofongo (an Afro-Puerto Rican dish made with fried plantains), croquetas and other street fare, to fresh ceviche and salads, Karlo hopes to bring a much needed infusion of Puerto Rican cuisine to Portland.

meet the owner

Born in Puerto Rico, Karlo Prado moved to the Southern U.S with his family early in life. The move drove his thirst to learn and taste the world around him, propelling him through a culinary journey around the country. After working (and tasting) his way across America - from Baltimore to Charleston, Austin to Honolulu, New Orleans to Las Vegas, Boston to Miami, and Alaska, he finally found home in Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining the Mercado, he worked at Portland favorites Pambiche, Tasty n' Sons, and Clyde Common. 


place of origin  Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. 

living in portland for  5 years

significance of name  the name Carlito was a nickname given to me in my early kitchen days that came to embody my hardworking yet happy-go-lucky attitude. It stuck with me throughout my career and is exactly how I want my food to be. In my kitchen, I'm serious about my food yet playful in a fun loving environment.

likes about Portland  I came here to do what I love and take it to the next level! You can do just about whatever you want and have a strong sense of community that will support you. I like a city that keeps it weird.

interests I really love exploring the beauty of Oregon! I can't get enough of it. I really enjoy taking my wife out to eat at one of the many unique restaurants in town.e

recommended dish → Mofongo, of course! Mofongo for the masses, I say! I know Portland will absolutely love and see why Mofongo is the national dish of Puerto Rico! 

goals for business → To put the spotlight on Puerto Rican food and culture! It's always a celebration of friends and family, music and dancing and general lust for life that's always surrounded by fantastic food made with love!



PHONE → 702.497.6672

website →

As always, keep up to date with Carlito's Cocina and all other Portland Mercado businesses:


“I want to showcase the great potential for diversity in American cooking, combining the bold and bright flavors of Southern cooking with the flavors and textures of Puerto Rican cuisine, using Cocina Criolla in a fresh innovative style.”
— Karlo Prado, owner, Carlito's Cocina